Donald E. Klingner
Florida International University
The fundamental change in the composition of an organization's workforce that is now occurring in the United States and other developed countries as their cultures and populations become increasingly diverse. This demographic diversity is accompanied by economic pressures, as technological change and globalization of the economy increase public and private employers' demands for a highly trained workforce. And political pressures by women, minorities, older workers, immigrants, and persons with disabilities have resulted in legal changes in the employment rights of groups formerly excluded by law or custom from desirable professional and technical jobs (see discrimination, age; discrimination, disability; discrimination, gender; discrimination, racial). As a result of these changes, organizations need to design and implement workforce diversification programs. These involve subtle but sweeping changes in how they do business: changes in organizational mission, culture, policy, and practice.
Because workforce diversity is caused by the impact of societal changes on organizations, the organizational changes it causes are not isolated. Rather, they are related to other emergent trends in public personnel management such as targeted recruitment, employee development, total quality management, and nonadversarial dispute resolution. But they also conflict with other emergent human resource management trends caused by the same pressures: alternative methods of service delivery, temporary employment, and job simplification.
The changes caused by workforce diversification generate changed role expectations for all groups in public agencies: appointed and elected